BSI, the business improvement and standards company, has been selected by the UK Government to assess the G7 Summit and COP26 events against the international sustainability standard, ISO 20121. This best practice standard was inspired by BS 8901, which was published in time for the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic events.

The G7 Summit and COP26 will bring together world leaders to address important issues which shape the world we live in. Both events will be assessed against the ISO 20121 Sustainable Events Management standard which sets out best practice management system requirements for the sustainability of an event, in its preparation, execution and legacy.

Working alongside the event’s organisers, BSI will independently assess the activities, products and services material to the planning of both events including the sustainability measures across their supply chains, the venue facilities, the post-event challenges, such as waste management, and the event’s sustainable transport objectives.

Alok Sharma, COP26 President-Designate, said: “The world faces some intense challenges and our best hope of addressing them is if we collaborate and share solutions globally. Climate change is among the most urgent of those challenges, and so it is vital that we bring world leaders together in a sustainable way. I am delighted that BSI will be working with us to ensure that the G7 and COP26 are delivered in a way that respects the planet we are working hard to protect.”

Martin Townsend, global head of sustainability at BSI, said: “As COVID-19 restrictions are eased and the events industry opens up a growing societal pressure to demonstrate good practice is being placed on organisations. It is becoming increasingly important to minimise environmental, social and economic impacts and the industry must use this next normal as an opportunity to build back better and make the events they host sustainable, ethical and responsible.

“It is fantastic to see ISO 20121 being implemented against two high-profile, global events. We hope that this demonstrates the UK’s position as a driving force in sustainable events and highlights the importance of incorporating strategies to reduce the environmental impacts of these activities.”

BS ISO 20121:2012, the Event Sustainability Management System, was based on the British Standard BS 8901 which was published in 2009 and adopted for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games in London. To claim compliance with this  standard an organisation must define and implement its sustainability policy, monitor and evaluate the event against key performance indicators and eventually review the event, both in its preparation, in its execution and in its legacy, feeding conclusions back into the policy to positively affect future events.